the making of modern michigan

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Bloomfield Blossoms: p. 134-135
Smith, Kay, 1925-

Bloomfield Township Public Library

Cranbrook (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.)

Saarinen, Eliel, 1873-1950

Milles, Carl, 1875-1955

Item Number

part of 'Bloomfield Blossoms' by Kay Smith

text, image


CRANBROOK JEWELS-ARCHITECTURE AND ART Families who built estates here had private art collections, but the first formal collections of art and sculpture open to the public in Bloomfield were at Cranbrook. When the Booths first made their plan for the development of their estate, they asked the Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen to be the resident architect. The Saarinens, Eliel and his wife Loja, children Eva-Lisa ("Pipsan") and Eero, arrived in 1925 and work was begun. Both the Booths' and Saarinens' idea was to have every form of art and design combined to produce one total environment. As the buildings materialized, Cranbrook School in 1926 and Kingswood in 1931, other artists were asked to join the effort. In 1931 the eminent Swedish sculptor Carl Milles became the resident sculptor and in time others came- Geza Maroti from Hungary, Paul Manship and Oscar Bach. Most of the wrought-iron work was designed by Saarinen and executed by Walter Nichols. Eliel Saarinen and Carl Milles dominated architecture and art respectively throughout the Thirties and Forties. Pictured on this page is Cranbrook School for boys, designed by Saarinen and built in 1925-26. Mr. George Booth was greatly taken with the Rodin sculpture "The Thinker" and asked sculptor Marshall Fredericks to make him "a monkey statue." The names "Sculptured Ape." "Thinker" and "The Ape" have been variously applied to the black granite statue pictured on the opposite page, upper right. The columns at Kingswood School, opposite page, lower right, indicate the school's unique design. The Cranbrook Institute of Science began with the telescope in 1930, and its museum, exhibits, study classes and observatory demonstrations have delighted and instructed hundreds of thousands.

Bloomfield Blossoms:  p. 134-135 part 1 Bloomfield Blossoms:  p. 134-135 part 2

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